The National Labour Commission (NLC) has ordered the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), to appear before it on Wednesday, September 11, over its ongoing strike.
The Executive Secretary of the NLC, Ofosu Asamoah, who has described NAGRAT’s strike as illegal, warned that if leadership of the association fails to honour the invitation for deliberations, they could be charged for contempt.
NAGRAT declared a nationwide indefinite strike on last Thursday to push for the payment of salary arrears and delayed promotions.
In a Citi News interview, Mr. Asamoah said NAGRAT has no right to lay down their tools because it failed to follow due procedures before declaring the strike.
“They are engaging in an illegal strike. Strikes cannot be strictly outlawed. There can be a lawful strike and an illegal one. Parties to labour disputes can engage in strike but there are ways and means that they are expected to take to make it lawful but they didn’t comply with that. They had to give us notice and breakdown of the dispute but none of these was brought before the commission. They will be ordered to go the classroom and do the work and take the proper steps if they want to declare a strike. If they fail to do that, they will be cited for contempt in court purge themselves. “
NAGRAT members have been told to vacate the classrooms until further notice until issues of the non-payment of allowances for additional services rendered by teachers, as well as the expiration of their collective bargaining agreement are addressed.
The President of the association, Angel Carbonu who gave the directive bemoaned the inability of the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Public Services Commission to facilitate their promotions arguing that the failure of the Commission to amend their records has led to delays of promotional interviews.
Already, the Greater Accra Regional Branch of the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) have threatened to join the ongoing strike by NAGRAT if issues of promotion, upgrading and reinstatement for its members are not resolved by the end of September.
Chairman of the group, Kennedy Geli Johnson, said they will have no option but to join NAGRAT because their concerns have been left unattended for far too long.
He added that they would also consider legal action if their issues remain unaddressed.
“We are taking on the battle as a region and we are prepared to go out of our way to take legal actions and a sit down strike if what we are saying is not adhered to. The quicker one is the sit down strike action and if by the end of September we don’t see any action that shows that they are going to take us seriously then we are going to join NAGRAT in their strike”